For some reason, I can’t seem to find Hilroy-type notebooks in Taiwan⁴. I use these types of spiral notebooks to do my math exercises. I couldn’t really find equivalent ones. This means that I have to check out different types of notebooks for that sole purpose. This is good and bad. It’s made me consider using Moleskines for class notebooks³, something that I had been thinking about. Moleskines are expensive. Even in Canada, they were expensive. They are also expensive in Taiwan, but thanks to ESLite’s 15% student discount, it’s not that bad¹.
The MD Paper notebooks I wanted to get are from Japan and as they are from Japan, being in Taiwan, they have to be expensive⁶. They retail for $20 for an A5-sized book. It’s good paper, but expensive. For the same price, I got 4 stapled Rhodia notebooks². They were $5 each and with the discount, a pretty good deal. I spent $17 for 4. Not bad. It’s a bit more expensive that deals you can find online, but not bad at all. I didn’t really have time to pick and choose. Some of the spiral-bound Rhodia notebooks were interesting, but they weren’t that good of a deal. The last time I went there, there were these hardcover lined notebooks from Rhodia that pickled my fancy. They were $9 each. The stapled notebooks are the right size, A4, and kind of like Moleskine cahiers⁵.
I do need to get myself a No 8 Rhodia pad. They are quite distinctive. I haven’t seen pads like that before. I tend to use my pocket Moleskine to jot down daily happenings and thoughts. It would be nice to have something that could have more uses.
I also got a refill for a Pentel Tradio pen that I had. I haven’t used those types of pens since 2007. They had an annoying way of leaking all over the place, kind of like fountain pens. Well, maybe not, but it reminded me of cheap fountain pens. I’ve got a Parker fountain pen that my dad gave me. It’s perfect to write with and it’s a Parker 75 Sterling silver Cicelé. I have to refill the ink so that I can use it again. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a newer fountain pen. I’ve spotted a few at ESLite and will try them out. I remember that I was able to find refills for my Parker here. Luckily, I saved some empty refills so that I can always just fill them with ink.
What do I love about high quality notebooks? They last for a long time and they are easy to keep. Notes taken in Moleskines will last years. Some of the cheaper paper notebooks will only last a few years before turning yellow and decomposing slowly.
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I was a few minutes late for this week’s colloquium. It was strange, as I was the only graduate student attending. The rest of the attendees were professors. I felt out of place. 10 minutes later, all of the graduate students arrived. The presentation was about Maple. It wasn’t very interesting as I have used the software for years. However, it was the first time that I saw it used to draw graphs with that package. The colloquiums are all in Mandarin and not that interesting for me, even if the slides are partially in English. Last week, it was tropical curves, surfaces and hypersurfaces. The week before, we were introduced to some notions of C-R geometries.
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Getting home from school takes as little as 9 minutes. It’s also a lot safer than the way I used to take before. I take the Yong Fu bridge into Yonghe, and then take Huan He Rd. all the way to my house. It’s damn fast and the road is a lot safer since it has less traffic, no buses and it runs against a flood wall. That means that you only have to watch for traffic on one side. There isn’t much. Also, there aren’t many traffic lights.
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[¹]: If you have a student ID card, present it at the Xinyi branch of ESLite to get the 15% discount. It applies no matter what your total is. If you are a foreigner, you will get 5% off if you spend more than $30. The Xinyi ESLite is the flagship store and you get the best service there. I’ve received horrendous service at the ESLite at Gongguan.
[²]: 96 pages each, 80 g/m2, 2 orange and 2 black. For a few dollars more, I could just get another Moleskine.
[³]: Why? Well it makes everything neater. You have to write nicely. I write cursively, slightly slanted and it looks nice. I spent the last two semesters writing a lot more.
[⁴]: I really like the On The Edge collection. The paper is of higher quality than their regular notebooks, they have an interesting color-based organization system, and they aren’t too expensive.
[⁵]: Four Rhodia stapled A4 notebooks are less expensive than a packet of 3 Moleskine cahiers A5. They are $3 less expensive. At least, this is the price here.
[⁶]: Everything from Japan is expensive in Taiwan. The Taiwanese love Japan and all of their pens and notebooks. It’s an obsession for little girls as well as adults just like me.